I was thinking about it the other day, and I'm pretty sure that I have this correct. We haven't lit a fire in our wood stove all year. You might think that's a result of an awfully warm winter, but the catch is all in the phrasing of the statement. We haven't started a fire because we've not let the fire go out so far this year. When we got home from Wisconsin a day before New Years Eve, we immediately started a fire in the stove and it's been faithfully burning ever since. Not without effort, though.
On the left side of the chicken house below are three rows of wood that were split and stacked a week ago. I had the help of a couple friends (cousins, by the way) who came and worked with me to eliminated my unkempt pile of "wood to be split". It's a good thing we did that, as you can see in the same picture that my woodpile to the right of the chicken house is almost depleted.
I took this picture the other morning when it was -5 with about a 25 or 30 mile per hour breeze. That yields a wind chill factor of about -31. In my short sleeves, I soon decided it was no weather for taking pictures, however picturesque the scene might be, and after snapping the next shot of the drifts (which are nothing compared to last year, by the way) I scampered back in to the house.
Today was a nice Saturday. We got up, ate some breakfast and went to Seward to buy a few things and stop at the bank. When we got home, Jenny did some housework while I went to my project of building a new wood box. The old one was rather sad, and we decided to make a nice box with a lid so that in the winter we can put wood in it, and in the summer it can store winter clothes. Clever, not? Which brings me back to my first thought. It takes effort to keep the fire going. A little here, and a little there, but it has to be done or the fire goes out.
There's an obvious spiritual lesson here that I've been pondering too. I wouldn't think of letting my wood stove go for a day or more without replenishing its fuel. I know good and well it needs wood at least every ten or twelve hours. It wouldn't occur to me to not bring up wood so that we can feed the fire in the evening before going to bed. I never get up too late to put wood in the fire before going to work. So why is it so easy to think that I don't have time to read my Bible in the morning? Why is it so natural to care for the physical fire that warms our home, but so easy to neglect feeding the spiritual flames that are far more important eternally? We all know the answer to that one I think, but how are we doing when it comes to putting the lesson into practice? I'm talking to myself here, but you all are welcome to listen in.... :)
So that's what we're up to today....